I was sent a free copy of An Open Door by Anne Leigh Parrish by TLC Book Tours. All opinions are my own.
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About the Book:
It’s 1948 and the freedom granted women by the Second World War is gone. Edith Sloan, earning her doctorate, is told by her law student husband to cancel her academic plans.
His bright future requires a certain kind of wife: one in the kitchen making dinner for important guests. Frustrated and defiant, Edith leaves him but returns when his begging letters become too much.
Trapped by marriage and her husband’s ambition, Edith struggles to find her footing and the means to her own survival.
You can purchase An Open Door on Amazon.com
About the Author:
Anne Leigh Parrish sat down one day at an ancient typewriter and banged out a short story. Nine years and many stories later, “A Painful Shade of Blue,” found a home in The Virginia Quarterly Review.
The story featured the real-life trauma of her parents’ divorce when she was only ten years old. While other stories returned to that time and place, most ventured further afield, focusing on women in impossible situations, and blending stark reality with magical realism.
In 2014 her first novel, What Is Found, What Is Lost, featuring four generations of women and their experience with religious faith convinced her that she also loved long-form writing. Women Within, her second novel, is another multi-generational story about three women whose lives intersect at the Lindell Retirement home.
In both stories and subsequent novels, the Dugan family of Dunston, New York, a fictional town representing Ithaca, where Anne grew up, takes center stage. They’re a tough, hard-worn bunch full of love, pain, and fierce devotion to each other – usually.
Her linked story collection, Our Love Could Light The World, and her novels The Amendment and Maggie’s Ruse follow them over years and many ups and downs.
Her forthcoming novel, A Winter Night, due out in March 2021 centers on the eldest daughter, Angie Dugan, and her struggle to find love and self-acceptance.
Anne lived in Seattle for thirty-five years until Amazon made driving anywhere a nightmare, then moved with her husband and black female pug to a forest outside of Olympia Washington where she continues to write stories, novels, the occasional essay, and most recently, poetry.
Let’s just say after reading this book I am really, really happy I did not come of age as a woman in the fifties. It’s remarkable to me that the men all went off to war, the women kept things going and then when the men came back the women were suddenly supposed to forget that they were capable, intelligent beings and just go back to being well, doormats.
Perhaps it worked for some but it wasn’t working for the protagonist of this novel, Edith. She found a freedom that she was unwilling to give up when her her husband came back from the war. He expected her to stay at home and conform to the roles he wanted her play.
This did not work for Edith so she bolts. What follows is a story of self discovery for well, both of them.
I will admit that it was a little bit of a struggle for me at first but I did find my rhythm with the book and ultimately enjoyed the story.